By Larry Ray Hafley
“ROBERTS NEEDS MIRACLE: Oral Roberts needs about $4.5 million in ‘quick money’ from followers or God won’t let him live past March, the evangelist says.
“‘I’m asking you to help me extend my life,’ Roberts told his I television audience Sunday. ‘We’re at the point where God could call Oral Roberts home.’
“Speaking from the clinic laboratory at his City of Faith Medical and Research Center, Roberts asked viewers to send
$100 immediately and pledge additional amounts for February and March” (Peoria Journal Star, January 12, 1987).
Usually a thief says, “Your money or your life,” but Oral Roberts says, “Your money or my life.”
Apparently, religious racketeering knows no shame and has no bounds. Paul referred to those who suppose that “gain is godliness” and said they were “of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth” (1 Tim. 6:5). Peter warned of “false teachers” who “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you” (2 Pet. 2:1-3). As 1 Timothy 4:1-3 essentially describes Catholicism, so the tenor of these texts points to men like Oral Roberts.
Roberts is not alone. He is just richer and better known. He is not the first. He will not be the last. “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Pet. 2:2). All sincere efforts to teach the way of God in truth are adversely affected by men like Oral Roberts.
This is not a question of envy or jealousy. Our words are not opposed to Roberts’ soul, but to his doctrines and practices. Faithful gospel preachers, teachers and elders need to instruct and admonish against spiritualized covetousness and religious greed wherever it is found.
Oral Roberts is a man who has become a puppet to the institutions that bear his name. His organizational creations are bigger than he is. They are multi-million dollar businesses that voraciously consume their creator. Roberts begat them (at God’s behest, of course!), and now the schools, hospitals, research centers and corporations are needier and greedier than Oral ever imagined. So, call in God again. Oral cannot fund them. Evidently, the Lord is demanding payment for outstanding debts, for He, according to Oral, wants the money by March, or Oral might be bumped off. (Excuse me, “called home.”) It makes God appear as a Mafia Don and Oral as a loan shark chieftain who is behind on his collections.
Ah, but this latest emergency is not the first nor will it be the last. Remember the 900 foot Jesus that allegedly spoke to Oral a year or so ago9 Now, a death threat trom God Himself. What next? Stay tuned.
Frankly, I suspect that Oral will get his money, and that he may live past March, 1987. The devil cannot afford to let him die.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 4, p. 97
February 19, 1987